Exercise Diabetes Away

Type 2 diabetes patients lower prevalence of high blood sugar by exercising every other day

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body. Whether you exercise everyday or a few times a week, you are protecting your health and reducing your risk for diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

People with type 2 diabetes who exercised every other day reduced their risk of high blood sugar, a condition that can lead to many complications.

Patients who exercised everyday had about the same risk of high blood sugar as those who exercised every other day.

"Exercise to control your blood sugar."

If you want to benefit from exercise, you cannot take too much time away from physical activities. You must regularly exercise to keep your body healthy. As such, many doctors and scientists believe that diabetes patients will get the most out of exercise if they do it everyday.

In a recent study, Luc J.C. van Loon, PhD, of Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands, and colleagues wanted to see if daily exercise or exercise every other day was better for blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes.

The researchers found that a short 30-minute session of moderate exercise every other day reduced the amount that diabetes patients experienced high blood sugar the day after exercising.

According to the authors, "No differences were observed between the impact of daily exercise and exercise performed every other day." In other words, daily exercise did not improve patients blood sugar any more than exercise every other day.

"The suggested exercise is moderate walking for 30 minutes everyday," says Diane Shiao, PT, MSPT, DPT, who was not involved in the study. "However, a varied exercise regimen is the best for reaching optimal fitness levels which includes exercise such as weight training, stretching, and aerobic exercise."

"Generally, exercise can help reduce glucose levels in the blood, but over-exercising can increase blood sugar levels as the body is taxed and stressed. It's best to monitor the sugar levels before and after exercise to determine when, how long, and what kind of exercise will affect the blood sugar levels," she explains.

The study's findings show that the prevalence of high blood sugar was reduced from about seven hours and 40 minutes to five hours and 46 minutes when diabetes patients exercised everyday. When patients exercised every other day, the prevalence of high blood sugar dropped to about five hours and 51 minutes.

The results of this randomized crossover experiment are published in Diabetes Care, a journal of the American Diabetes Association.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
May 14, 2012
Last Updated:
July 10, 2012